Don’t ask what it is, I don’t know…
People always tell me I have a good voice and that I should sing. I don’t think so.
OK, I have done some blues growling in the past, and I was all right. But I’m no Luciano Pavarotti; I’m more like his tone-deaf brother Giuseppe, at least as far as singing is concerned. And, as I think I mentioned here on the blog somewhere, I really hate to perform. I didn’t like being forced to perform at home, and would do everything I could to bluff my way through it. My family all thought it was hilarious, and I guess maybe it was, if you weren’t the one sitting there with the guitar.
I was fine, and am fine, with singing when there’s no one around, or when no one’s paying attention. At church on Saturday night (I’m Catholic, and Mass after about 4 counts for Sunday), for example, I’m fine, because everyone else is doing it, and all the good singers are sitting in the choir, and they have microphones, so they’re loud and I can just fade into the background. And, see, I’m not singing for everyone else; I’m singing for God, and He stuck me with this lousy voice, so He has it coming to Him. When I was in Music Ministry (and that’s a whole ‘nother story that I’d rather not get into), I was there to play the guitar, not to sing.
It’s a shame, because I think my guitar playing suffered from me not wanting to sing, as well as my value as a player. No one ever wanted to sing when I’d get together with other musicians, and I would have been really valuable as a singer and guitarist.
There are a lot of things like that. Singing, drawing, writing… I was always sensitive to criticism, of being told I was doing it wrong, and it was easier not to do it than to do it and open myself up to criticism and, well, ridicule.
You know how it is, though… I can see these things now, and I realize I needed to develop more of a “screw you” attitude (I was going to use the stronger four-letter version of that, but thought better of it). In everything. I’m sure it would have been frowned on by the Powers That Were, and I might have ended up with my teeth knocked out. But I would have had a lot more fun.
This was this week’s entry into Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Her blog has a list of the rules and the people that participated this week, so hop on over there and support some of the others.
You know, this all reminds me of Virginia O’Brien. The first time she got up to sing in front of a crowd, she was so terrified that she stood there, stone-faced, and sang the song, then ran off the stage and all the way home. The audience thought it was an act, and she was hilarious, and she ended up becoming a star in the movies and on TV when a producer who was in the audience called and asked her to do that again. I know I’ve shared this video before, but here she is, in the Marx Brothers’ comedy The Big Store.